YOU MUST SUPPORT US AS WE AIM TO SUPPORT YOU
Most disciplines have a membership or professional organisation which is usually a non-profit organisation seeking to further the interest of the members or of the discipline. The Alliance of Healthcare Assistants is a membership organisation because HCA’s are not yet a profession.
What is a profession?
The Professional Standards Council of Australia state: “A profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards. This group positions itself as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from research, education and training at a high level, and is recognised by the public as such. A profession is also prepared to apply this knowledge and exercise these skills in the interest of others1.”
When the Alliance was first set up we were quickly slapped down for calling ourselves a Professional Organisation. However, now that we are well on the way to having Healthcare Assistants trained to Higher Education and Training Level 6 with the title Professional Healthcare Assistant (PHCA) we can then adopt the title Professional Organisation.
While the first batch of students are taking the two-year apprenticeship course, the Alliance will be working on applying for regulation which will provide a national scope and code of practice for the newly qualified Professional Healthcare Assistants. This will completely raise the profile of the Healthcare Assistant in the eyes of the other health professionals and the public.
Our Role as a Professional Organisation
We as a professional organisation work for our members. We help to maintain high standards of work practice, encourage further education through our website, keep an eye on and influence government policy relating to our discipline, we support networking, advertise jobs, in time we will hold seminars and conferences, we guide and support our members and more.
How are we funded?
We have not sought public funding or grants so far. We had a generous financial contribution from Abbot Laboratories to cover the first 4 years. Other health related companies contributed towards our organisation to have their logos and a link to their websites on ours. We hope, in the long run, to fund ourselves through the membership fees. If we had 2,000 members at €15 per working member, students have free membership for their first year, we could manage. There are thought to be as many as 80,000 HCAs with varying degrees of training and experience and none, working nationally. We are concerned that if we apply for public funding it may restrict our ability to critique policy as we may wish to do.
We need a good boost in membership applications. We are working tirelessly at putting the discipline of healthcare Assistant on the map as a recognised and respected discipline with a career path
We need you to spread the word and encourage all HCAs to join us, your own membership organisation.
Anne Marie Lee